November 3, 2022

Sean Hannity calls it "the big lie" that Republicans want to gut or get rid of Social Security, despite ample evidence of them saying exactly that for the past forty years.

Here's what Hannity said last night (and he's probably said exactly the same thing dozens of times over the years): "In fact, with Democrats in charge, the suffering will only get worse and needless to say Democrats cannot run on their record. Instead, Joe Biden, you know now in this last-ditch effort -- well, let's lie to senior citizens and scare them to death with lies about Republicans. They want to take away your Social Security and Medicare and cut it. Okay. Not a single Republican has ever said it. No Republican supports it. It's never going to happen and this is desperation on display. "

Well, here's what Mike Lee said in 2010 at an event he probably wasn't aware he was being caught on video: "It will be my objective to phase out Social Security to pull it up by the roots... That's why I am doing this to get rid of that. Medicare and Medicaid are of the same sort and need to be pulled up."

Source: Huffington Post

Sean Hannity appeared to utter a big fat lie on Fox News this week, claiming no Republican has ever said they wanted to take away Social Security.

Cue the riposte from the Twitter user Acyn, who shared 2010 video of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), then a candidate, saying his objective was “to phase out Social Security ― to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.”

Hannity’s comment on Tuesday’s “Hannity” added to the conservative channel’s dismissal of Democratic Party concerns over the fate of Social Security as “scare tactics” before Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that congressional Republicans “have embraced plans to reduce federal spending on Social Security and Medicare, including cutting benefits for some retirees and raising the retirement age for both safety net programs.”

As for Mike Lee, his recollection is as shady as his politics.

As for Utah’s Lee, who faces a reelection challenge from Democrat Evan McMullin, the incumbent denied ever saying he would seek the dismantling of Social Security despite the video evidence.

“I don’t recall ever having advocated for dismantling those — that’s sensitive stuff,” Lee told the Utah newspaper Daily Herald on Oct. 29. “I vaguely remember a time in 2010 when we were talking about a bunch of things. And it was talking about you know, we need to, we need to end this pattern of the federal government occupying space that it wasn’t intended to occupy and spending too much money. Perhaps that was close in time and in proximity to another conversation about Social Security.”

His opponent, also a Republican but not an insane one, tweeted in response:

Mike Lee is a liar and a hypocrite. Do better, Utah.

Editor's Update (Frances Langum): Apparently Republicans are worried about the Social Security thing. Here's Grover Norquist (really) on MSNBC (really) Wednesday.

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